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Catherine Brubaker’s . . . . . . . . Photo Journal – (Part 1) Washington to Florida

Triking Across America – diagonally –

Photo Journal Part 1

Washington to Florida

 

On June 29, 2014, Catherine (Cat) Brubaker and Dan Zimmerman set off from Anacortes, Washington on their recumbent trikes to trike across America – diagonally. Their destination – Key West, Florida – a trip of 5,200 miles.

I can’t even wrap my head around driving 5,200 miles in a car, let alone covering that distance under pedal-power. (I made up that word.)

Here's what 5,200 miles looks like.

Here’s what 5,200 miles looks like.

 

01 Cat on Trike 10350428_10204753083335148_667202674095765199_n

Cat, who survived two brain injuries triked to raise awareness for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on “Cat’s Ride for Life.”

02 Dan on Trike 1069184_441000132665517_2000066735_n

Dan, a stroke survivor, pedaled for awareness for stroke prevention with “Spokes Fighting Strokes.”

This is the van loaded down with equipment that will be traveling with Cat and Dan

This is the van loaded down with equipment, supplies, and food that will be traveling with Cat and Dan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oops! A blowout before the trip even begins.

Oops! A blowout before the trip even begins

Cat is interviewed by  AZCentral - 12 News - The Arizona Republic

Cat is interviewed by AZCentral – 12 News – The Arizona Republic

Cat and Dan ride under "Spokes Fighting Strokes."

Cat and Dan ride under “Spokes Fighting Strokes.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cat and Dan ride about 50 miles per day and their average speed is about 13mph. They’ve seen a wolf, wild turkeys, and even “giant” crickets in Washington. Here are some of the beautiful sites Cat has encountered along the way. (More to come.)

 10420010_10204564402018233_4022721289719272020_n

Check out the Ascent and Elevation on this Garmin.

Cat and Bear sharing a little love.

Cat and Bear sharing a little love.

Washington sites

Washington sites

 M10338763_10204580536701590_2716290322768561350_n

Lake McDonald in National Glacier Park

Purple wild flowers along the highway

Purple wild flowers along the highway

Hmm, wondering if this will be Cat's new wheels for another Trip Across America.

Hmm, wondering if this will be Cat’s new wheels for another Trip Across America.

Pure bliss

Pure bliss

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker . . . Triking Across America

Pedaling Into the Future – Triking Across America (diagonally)

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, a 43-year-old perky, young woman, is on the ride of her life. She is getting a second – no – third chance at life.

Catherine’s life changed in an instant in 2010, when she was assaulted. The assault resulted in a traumatic brain injury and the implantation of a heart pacemaker. A year after her first TBI, Catherine was in a head-on collision, which caused her to have a second TBI. The result of both injuries took away Catherine’s freedom. She lost her independence in the world.Cat Brubaker wheelchair pose

In an article, Catherine said, “ … I lost everything – my ability to work, drive, talk and function independently.” But what Catherine did not lose was her drive – her ambition to take back the reins of her life. But, it wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen all at once.

Catherine not only lost her independence, she also lost her partner of 14 years when they parted ways. This, along with the increasingly difficult life she now faced as the result of her disabilities, sent Catherine into a deep slump. When her mother passed, Cat almost went over the edge. She found it difficult to understand why she was here on this earth. She contemplated ending her life. To Cat, it seemed that everything had been stripped away.

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker - Triking Across America (diagonally)

Catherine (Cat) Brubaker – Triking Across America (diagonally)

It was around that time that Cat bought a recumbent trike and found that the trike allowed her the freedom to get out of her house. Because Cat has issues with balance as the result of her brain injury, it was difficult for her to walk unassisted. Also, she was not able to drive a car because of the many issues related to her TBI. Her recumbent trike gave her the independence that she so missed and so greatly desired. It made her world bigger. Cat rode her trike in the parks near her home. There she met Dan Zimmerman, a stroke survivor, on his recumbent trike – the very same model that Cat was riding (Catrike 700). (Cat said she was attracted to that trike not only for its performance, but also because of its name.) Dan and Cat began to ride together, and Dan shared his plan of pedaling his recumbent trike across America to raise awareness for stroke survivors. He also hoped to spread the word of the benefits of cycling. Cat thought this a great idea, and soon she was in training to accompany Dan.

Initially Cat rode her trike to escape the four walls that seemed to hold her prisoner, but she soon realized that she was riding for others too – for those who can’t ride and those who may follow her lead and discover the joys and freedom of the recumbent trike. But most of all, Cat rides to offer hope to her fellow traumatic brain injury survivors.

From Anacortes, Washington to Key West, Florida (5,200 miles)

From Anacortes, Washington to Key West, Florida (5,200 miles)

On June 29th, the pair – with their riding team of Bill and Dana Brown (owners of Sign Me Up Tours,) and David Babcock (photo-journalist, driver, and all-around “chief cook and bottle washer”) – set off from the northwestern corner of the United States at Anacortes, Washington, on their way to Key West on the tip of Florida at the southeastern part of the USA. Cat and Dan will ride a total of 5,200 miles on their ocean-to-ocean trip. They plan to finish in late November.

Check back often to see photo updates of Cat’s (and Dan’s) progress.

(Photos compliments of Cat Brubaker.)

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No memory of the day that changed my life

My name is Michelle Munt and this is my story about surviving a brain injury and what I continue to learn about it. This is for other survivors and their loved ones, but also to raise awareness of what can happen to those in an accident. This invisible injury too often goes undiagnosed and it can be difficult to find information about it. I will talk about things that have helped me as I continue to recover and invite others to see if it works for them too.

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